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Looking for business partners for a co-op farm in the Seattle area

 
Tom OHern
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Hi All,

Like many around here, I've been dreaming of starting a farm for several years now. I've slowly been making progress towards being able to buy land and get started, but the realities keep sinking in and I am realizing that doing this on my own will take another decade at least, and even that might not be possible. I have come to the conclusion that if I could find partners with the same dreams, we could get going much faster (2 to 5 years). And there is no reason why a farm can only provide one income, so it makes sense to have more than one of us working the farm.

I currently live in south Seattle, and for various reasons, I need to stay in my current home. So, I am looking for farm land in the Greater Seattle area, not to move on to, but just to farm. I am open to leasing land to get things started. This also makes selling products to the Seattle market much easier. I would not be quitting my day job just yet, and I would not expect partners to do so either, but I am looking for people who can commit to working the farm in their off time just as I would be doing. Unfortunately, I can't bank roll the whole operation my self, so partners would need to provide equal initial funding. At some point, we might be able to take on "sweat equity" partners, but to get started, you will need to bring some money to the table.

If this sounds interesting to you, please let me know. I'd love to meet up in person with anyone interested in doing this with me.
 
Ken Peavey
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If you can find enough people, it's possible, affordable, and offers advantages for everyone involved.
Can you offer more information as to your plans?
 
Tom OHern
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Hi Ken,

As of right now, my plans are very fluid. When I was considering doing this on my own, I could come up with much more specific plans. Professionally, I work as a IT Project Manager, so I know first hand the difficulty of organizing people on a project. 200 people is very ambitious! I was not thinking anything so large (at least to start with...) My thoughts are at the present is to buy land with a group of 4-10 other people and for each partner to have a Salatin type fiefdom that we run. We can all help out with each others projects as needed, and like your article suggests, we can pool resources for tools and such since it makes little sense for all of us to buy our own. But until the group is formed, it is hard to say what the plan is until we know what everyone's wants, needs, and skills are.

I think your Farmland Fund Plan is great and hope that is is successful! If it turns out that the fund is ready the same time I get my group formed, maybe we can be your first applicant!
 
Ken Peavey
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I look forward to hearing from you!

As you talk to people share ideas with them. If they are not interested in investing in the property, they may be interested in being a customer. Renting garden plots would generate the income to pay the bills. Having customers lined up ahead of time makes the project more viable. If the project can offer a return on investment with a realistic plan, finding investors gets easier.
 
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